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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

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In Sports

This turf from the Green Bay Packers' Ray Nitschke Field is now in Milwaukee. (PHOTO: Jim Biever/Green Bay Packers)

Grand Opening for Journey House Packers Field at Mitchell Park


Journey House will host a grand opening celebration for the Journey House Packers Field on June 6 at the southeast end of Milwaukee County's Mitchell Park at South 22nd St. and West Pierce St.

Events will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a reception followed by the official Grand Opening Ceremony from 3-4 p.m. Family fun activities will take place on the field from 4-7 p.m.

The event's keynote speaker is Mark Murphy, Green Bay Packers President and CEO. Remarks will also be made by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Governor Scott Walker.

"This project serves as a testament to the power of community partnerships," Journey House CEO Michele Bria, PhD., said. "The installation of this football field has truly been a community endeavor, a collective effort to protect our greatest asset: our children."

The synthetic turf football field was donated to Journey House by the Green Packers and previously served as the Packers' Ray Nitschke Practice Field in Green Bay.

This field, the only one in the country that hosts an NFL logo outside of a NFL stadium, will serve as the home field for the Journey House Youth Football and Cheerleading Program and League.

The league is made up of seven organizations that represent a cross-section of ethnically diverse, low-income youth from the city of Milwaukee and has over 300 participants (ages 6 to 14). Beyond teaching the fundamental skill sets of football, character development and education are central tenants of this program.

Marquette University High School lacrosse teams and freshmen and junior varsity football teams will play home games on the field as well.

In addition to youth development, the project will bring about positive outcomes in the community that include economic development and job creation. Workforce development opportunities will be available through assisting in the daily operations and maintenance of the field, assisting in game day and tournament operations, ticket sales, and concession stand operations.

Established in 1969, Journey House works with the community utilizing a self-help philosophy in order to increase education, reduce unemployment, lower the incidence of crime, strengthen the family structure and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The organization, located in Milwaukee's near south side Clarke Square neighborhood, served over 4,100 youth and families with its programs in 2012. For more information about Journey House, visit www.journeyhouse.org.


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